I’m currently reading a fantastic book about horrific anxiety called “Agorafabulous: Dispatches from my Bedroom.” It’s a tough read. True, it’s funny – VERY funny. True, the author is a good writer and the words flow well. But also true, it’s painful to get through. Sara Benincasa is such a good writer that you can’t help but feel everything she feels along with her. And what she feels is pain, shame, anxiety, terror – I am only a few chapters in and I know that never before have I fully understood what true anxiety is really like.
I met Sara several years ago – I’m a PR person and she was a reporter. I speak with dozens of reporters, but she stood out because she was so funny and interesting. I remember chatting with her on the phone about nothing in particular because I just couldn’t seem to tear myself away. Her book is like that. Like reading a friend’s journal, and not being able to stop.
I never would have guessed in my truly superficial talks with Sara that she had gone through anything like what she discusses in her book. At the same time, I doubt she would have known that when we were talking, I was battling Crohn’s and – at the time – losing. Because if there’s anything you want when you’re fighting an incurable illness, it’s to be normal.